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Language policies in play: Learning ecologies in multilingual preschool interactions among peers and teachers
Linköpings Universitet. (CLIP)
2016 (English)In: Multilingua - Journal of Cross-cultural and Interlanguage Communiciation, ISSN 0167-8507, E-ISSN 1613-3684Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

In this study we argue that a focus on language learning ecologies, i.e., situations for participation in various communicative practices can shed light on the intricate processes through which minority children develop or are constrained from acquiring cultural and linguistic competencies (here of a majority language). The analysis draws on a language socialization approach to examine the micro-level contexts of an immigrant child’s preschool interactions with peers and teachers and the interplay between these and macro-level language and educational policies. It was found that the focal girl mainly participated in unstructured peer play due to the preschool educational and language policy. The girl’s limited Swedish (simple nouns, verbs, formulaic expressions) served as a resource for collusive peer language play (negatively keyed recyclings, mimicking, nonsensical words) portraying her language as incomprehensible. In interaction with teachers the child’s nonverbal acts were interpreted into verbal forms (repeating and expanding conversational, lexical and grammatical contributions). The fact that the girl did not align with the teacher’s conversational contributions created a negative affectively valorized language-learning ecology. Our study demonstrates how educational and language policies as they are managed on the micro-interactional level in everyday preschool activities may cast children’s peer group as the main language socialization agent for beginners.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
De Gruyter: De Gruyter , 2016.
Keyword [en]
language socialisation, language policy, peer interaction, immigrant children, Swedish preschool
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Education; Education
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-293642OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-293642DiVA: diva2:928101
Available from: 2016-05-14 Created: 2016-05-14 Last updated: 2016-05-14

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Evaldsson, Ann-Carita
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